With ambitious EU legislation, wind energy can provide huge benefits to Europe

April 2, 2008

Energy Daily: Manuel Pinho, Portugal’s Minister of Economy and Innovation, warned that if quick steps were not taken towards a better use of renewables, the EU would go from importing 55% of its energy to 66% by 2030, making the economy even more dependent on energy from third countries. He presented Portugal’s renewable energy mix, a combination of hydro and wind power, as a combination ideal for providing flexible, indigenous electricity at competitive energy prices.

“Wind has delivered the most promising results out of all renewable energy technologies so far, with 57 GW of total capacity installed in the EU by the end of 2007. In order to ensure that this trend continues, we need to have a secure and favourable EU legislative framework”, EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs told delegates at the opening session of the European Wind Energy Conference (EWEC) today in Brussels. The EU Commissioner – Chairman of the EWEC 2008 Conference also emphasised the need to consider renewable energy solutions beyond 2020 and far into the future.

A swift adoption and implementation of the European Commission’s proposed Renewable Energy Directive is essential to ensure a secure, sustainable and competitive energy future in Europe, delegates heard this morning. Decision-makers at national and European level stressed the importance of a stable, flexible legislative framework. They outlined their vision for the EU legislation and how this will deliver a new generation of energy supply.


Boosting Europe’s growth and jobs by meeting climate change commitments

January 24, 2008

Energy Daily has a succinct write-up of the proposed EU energy plan: The European Commission has today agreed on a far-reaching package of proposals that will deliver the European Council’s commitments to fight climate change and promote renewable energy. The proposals demonstrate that the targets agreed last year are technologically and economically possible and provide a unique business opportunity for thousands of European companies. These measures will dramatically increase the use of renewable energy in each country and set legally enforceable targets for governments to achieve them.

All major CO2 emitters will be given an incentive to develop clean production technologies through a thorough reform of the Emissions Trading System (ETS) that will impose an EU-wide cap on emissions. The package seeks to deliver the European Union to reduce greenhouse gases by at least 20% and increases to 20% the share of renewable energies in the energy consumption by 2020, as agreed by EU leaders in March 2007. The emissions reduction will be increased to 30% by 2020 when a new global climate change agreement is reached.

…Building on the EU Emission Trading System, the Commission proposes to strengthen the single, EU-wide carbon market which will include more greenhouse gases (currently only CO2 is included), and involve all major industrial emitters. The emission allowances put on the market will be reduced year-on-year to allow for emissions covered by the ETS to be reduced by 21% from 2005 levels in 2020.

The power sector – forming the majority of EU emissions – will face full auctioning from the start of the new regime in 2013. Other industrial sectors, as well as aviation, will step up to full auctioning gradually, although an exception may be made for sectors particularly vulnerable to competition from producers in countries without comparable carbon constraints. In addition, auctions will be open: any EU operator will be able to buy allowances in any Member State.

Revenues resulting from the ETS will accrue to Member States and should be used to help the EU to adjust to an environment friendly economy by supporting innovation in areas such as renewables, carbon capture and storage and R and D. Part of the revenues should also go towards helping developing countries adapt to climate change. The Commission estimates that the revenues from the auctioning could amount to 50 billion euros annually by 2020….